Federal Construction Contractors Must Comply with Affirmative Action Disability Regulations

AffirmativeActionOn December 12, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected an appeal from American Builders and Construction, Inc. (ABC) to stop the new disability affirmative action regulations from applying to federal construction contractors. ABC is a national trade association representing construction and industry contractors.

By way of background, last March, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs finalized new rules for both federal construction and supply and service contractors on the collection and analysis of data for individuals with disabilities. Soon thereafter, ABC filed a lawsuit in federal District Court on behalf of construction contractors. ABC unsuccessfully argued that federal construction contractors should be exempt from these regulations because the construction industry is “fluid and transitory” and “uniquely hazardous and physical.”

Last Friday’s ruling means that federal construction contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in federal contracts must solicit data from applicants regarding disability status and annually prepare a written affirmative action plan that includes measurable objectives, quantitative analyses, and internal auditing and reporting systems to measure the contractor’s progress toward equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities. For construction contractors with more than 100 employees, the contractor is expected to employ individuals with disabilities for 7 percent of each of its job groups.

MSEC will offer a briefing session in January for federal construction contractors to discuss these new requirements. MSEC also offers affirmative action plan preparation for members. For more information, contact Affirmative Action Planning Services at 800.884.1328 or aaps@msec.org.